Eight schools have been invited to perform on the main stage at the International Thespian Festival (ITF). The invitations are based on productions that were adjudicated last fall; three more will be invited this spring. (Complete list of schools and shows to-date follows.)
ITF celebrates student achievement in the performing arts. The 56th event, which this year takes place June 24-29, brings together more than 4,000 high school drama students and their teachers for a weeklong immersion in workshops; interaction with colleges, industry leaders, and Broadway professionals; and opportunities to be inspired by the best high school theatre in the nation.
The highly coveted invitation signals achievement of superior work in theatre according to EdTA’s Director of Educational Programs Nancy Brown. “It is a real honor,” she explains, “because we send screening teams out all across the U.S. and Canada during the school year and only 11 schools will be selected to present their shows on the main stage. These Thespian troupes have earned a slot among those honored few.”
Noteworthy this year is the selection of the Jemicy School, a private school that serves students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences, home of International Thespian Troupe 8269, from Owings Mill, Md. In 2017 the school earned a Send a Troupe to Festival grant, which is awarded only to schools that have never before participated in International Thespian Festival. Now they are returning based on the strength of their performance.
Shakespeare In Love
Director: Heather Biddle
J.J. Pearce High School, Troupe 6896
Director: Mark Stutz
Parkland High School, Troupe 439
Bring It On
Director: Ed Shafer
Kansas All State
Peter and the Starcatcher
Director: Sean Elias
Jemicy School, Troupe 8269
Owings Mills, Md.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Director: Andrea Roney & Debra Buckner
North Penn High School, Troupe 5464
Director: Barbara Hilt
Garden City High School, Troupe 2846
Garden City, Ks.
Director: Greg McGlynn
McPherson High School, Troupe 3796
Be More Chill
Director: Patrick Avery
South Eugene High School, Troupe 750